Thursday 2 October 2014

Castle Freak - Still Rotting EP (Review)

Album Type: EP
Date Released: 7/10/2014
Label: Tridroid Records

‘Still Rotting’ CS/DD track listing:

1. Beneath These Streets
2. Sickening Corpses
3. Sherm
4. Caught in a Casket
5. Rotting


On October 7th 2014, Tridroid Records will unleash ‘Still Rotting’ by Philadelphia's "CASTLE FREAK". Self-described as "grinding death punks" the band play sick music inspired by bands such as Repulsion, Autopsy, Carnivore and old-school Megadeth.

Staying true to its old-school roots, ‘Still Rotting’ will be released on limited edition cassette format by Tridroid Records. A digital version will also be available.

The Band:

Andrew Gigan | Vocals/Guitar
Blaze Reichert | Guitar
Dylan Zdanavage | Bass
Pierson Roe | Drums


At only 11:37, Castle Freak’s ‘Still Rotting’ EP isn’t going to take up much of your time, but it’s absolutely time well spent. It’s a reanimation of the moldered remains of the oldest of all death metals: Repulsion, Autopsy and Necrophagia circa ‘Season of the Dead’. They even have the good sense to remember the punk and hardcore roots those bands pulled from in the first place. It’s primitive, filthy and it’s fucking fun.

Opening track “Beneath the Streets” is really the only mixed bag of the EP, faltering only during a brief, but out-of-place mid-paced riff that doesn’t hold together very well from a rhythmic standpoint. The rest of the song largely focuses on a lumbering dirge fit for ‘Severed Survival’, which is something they should feature prominently on future albums/EPs. It’s also a good place to highlight one of Castle Freak’s greatest strengths: vocals. My inclusion of Necrophagia in their influences mostly stems from Andrew Gigan’s vocal delivery, which resembles a somewhat punkier Killjoy circa ‘87. It’s something that sets them apart from other OSDM bands, and it’s an element of early death metal that often gets neglected by some of the more cavernous, Incantation-worshipping bands of the recent old school death metal resurgence.

“Sickening Corpses” is where the Repulsion spectre looms largest. That beautiful, slow-grinding blast beat in the context of the lo-fi production and rabid spitting vocals make for a truly potent combination. The song closes on an excellent, borderline hardcore riff that pays homage to Carnivore in a style similar to later era Darkthrone. “Rotting” throws a bit of barbaric black metal into the mix as well, all of which points to Castle Freak being keen on avoiding the cliches of current day old school worship bands.

There’s a ton of personality and charisma that pours out of the speakers from moment one of ‘Still Rotting’, and that’s a welcome tact in a scene often populated with dour faces and stern personas. For some, this might reach a little too far back into death metal history. In my case; this is so up my alley it’s got its own permanent cardboard box with a view of the bar’s back door.

Words by: Daniel Jackson

You can pick up a copy here

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